2020 Tour will be 3rd to 8th January in Napier hosted by HOTS

2019 Tour now concluded

3rd - 8th (last night 7th) January 2019 : in Winchester, South Canterbury; hosted by Fiery Peak (who are based in Geraldine)


Accommodated at Waihi school, Winchester; plenty of excursions planned.

Preceded by the Whare Flat Folk Festival just outside Dunedin, leave that on the 3rd


Peaks and Plains Morris Tour 2019

Fiery Peak (the Geraldine Morris Dancers) are looking forward to hosting dancers and musicians at the early January national tour, based at Waihi School near Winchester, South Canterbury. The tour begins on Thursday 3rd January (arrival after 2.30pm) and finishes on morning of Tuesday 8th January.  

For Friday to Monday we have put together four fun-packed days of touring and dancing at interesting places between the mountain peaks and the coastal plains.  Expect to glimpse Mount Aoraki and walk by Lake Tekapo, visit native bush, Ashburton museum/art gallery, a unique ‘music farm’, Caroline Bay beach in Timaru, farmers’ market, pubs, cafes and lively small towns.

Coach or minibus transport, breakfast and evening meals are included in the fee, along with a live-band ceilidh, some venue admission costs, on-site swimming pool and the annual ‘ale’ dinner. There are also optional side trips possible at reasonable cost, offering activity for you and accompanying family members. A separate excursions programme is available by email: the horse riding and river rafting trips in particular must be booked in advance, during December.

There are a few optional extra activities for individuals, plus café lunches and your drinks to budget for. It’s therefore a good-value music & dancing holiday. 

We have booked Waihi School, just north of Winchester on SH1, to accommodate dancers, musicians, family and friends.   The school is set in a park-like environment with outdoor and indoor space for groups to practice their repertoire, for some to camp or enjoy quiet walks away from the bustle.  It has a swimming pool. The school has partitioned dormitory accommodation for 60 and some limited camping & van space (at same fee). The school has two hall spaces for catered dining, film watching and evening song, music & dancing.  It does not have a DIY kitchen, but tea/coffee facilities are available near dormitories. Special diets can be catered for, with advance notice.

Thanks to careful budgeting and a Creative Communities grant, Tour fees will not exceed $495 per adult for resident at Waihi School and $250 for non-residents. For under-25 age group the resident half price is $250 and non-resident $125.  

First-come-first-served for 60 dormitory single beds. A deposit payment of $200 (adults) is requested now to secure the dormitory places, payable to: Geraldine Morris Dancers, at Kiwibank 38-9015-0763853-01 and quoting your surname.  Please use the Booking Form, available by email from     Enquiries by text to Rhys  on 02146260.

Registrations close 7th December BUT let’s hear from you now, especially if you need accommodation at the school!   Bed spaces and coach seats are limited!


Booking notes/conditions:  If you are coming to Waihi School but not staying all five nights we aim to slightly reduce your final fee due in December, but by how much will depend on Tour viability, as the venue will still charge us for five nights and many per-person overhead costs would not vary. Similarly, if you need tour transport, all meals and all activities, but are camping or in a camper-van on the school grounds we aim to reduce your final fee if by 7 December all the dorm beds are taken. Dorm beds should be your first choice.  It’s best to view the camping or van use option at Waihi as a way to have more quiet and privacy, rather than a cost saver at the outset. The school will charge us per head until all dorm beds are full. Camping on site is a privilege. If you are sleeping off-site you will pay the non-resident fee ($250 adult rate), but lose out on some of the social life and will have to connect yourselves reliably with our transport timetable, which is based at Waihi!  Note that local motels and B&Bs will not be cheaper, in peak season.

The Tour 2019 programme in summary:  (Times are to be confirmed in final programme)


Thursday 3 January.

Arrivals Waihi School on SH1north of Winchester

Pool open, BBQ dinner, book excursions, Tour dances workshop, film screening, announcement of the Tour dance challenge.


Friday 4 January.

9am, coaches depart for Methven to visit At Violinos music farm – exhibits, guided tour, instruments to try out, life-size nine man’s morris to play, space to practice new dancer combinations before having audience...

Morning tea and packed lunch provided. 1.30pm coach to Ashburton. Dance at Domain, meet the Plains Dames and visit Art Gallery and Museum (we may dance indoors there). Café/shop visits, coach back to Waihi School. Free time until dinner. Morris and ceilidh dancing in evening at school. Film option – Canterbury themed. Plan Saturday morning blackboard performance and workshop programme.


Saturday 5 January.

9am, coaches depart for Geraldine to visit Farmers’ Market where we are the morning’s music and dance entertainers. (gazebo and basic PA system available). Nearby Academy Hall available for workshop sessions. Several cafes, bottle shop, supermarket, pubs and toilets are close by. Our coach will relocate to Farm Shop Cafe 1.5km north, for lunch-time & more dancing.  Coach & minibuses to Peel Forest early afternoon, to connect with optional rural excursions. Dancing and walks at Peel Forest.  6pm dinner at Peel Forest Hall, then blackboard concert at Green Man café-bar and also a ceilidh with live band & caller in the Hall. Return buses to Waihi at 9.30 and 10.30pm.


Sunday 6 January.

9.30am coaches depart for Timaru. Visit Caroline Bay – location of the Timaru Carnival – boardwalk for processional dances, beach, grass areas.

Optional visit to Te Ana Rock Art Museum, dancing outside for others on paved area. Pub is next door!  Reserved dance workshops venue indoors, if required. Organise own lunch – café guide available. Coaches to Pleasant Point for afternoon, space to dance there, optional steam train ride, photo-call locations.  Free time until dinner. Pre-dinner drinks and AGM. Offers to host Tour 2020 welcomed. After dinner blackboard concert/dance displays and quieter option of a film screening, again Canterbury themed. An earlier night, maybe – a big day tomorrow!


Monday 7 January.

8.45am coaches depart for Fairlie. Dance at Fairlie then group morning tea provided before drive on to Tekapo. Lakeside photocall, dancing, walks. Arrange own lunch – plenty of restaurants. Possible side-trips by minibus: hot pools, Mt.John. Coaches return via Kimbell pub, more dancing. Pre-dinner nibbles and plan the evening concert & dances including Tour Challenge performances (our MC will collect the offers). Three course dinner with some ales/wine provided and BYO too, but no bar.


Tuesday 8 January

Breakfast and departures.


TOUR Dances – our suggestions are:  

1)         East Acton for multiples of 3 dancers, long stick, Border style  (Anne G. can teach this)

2)         Ring O’Bells, two sticks, (Litchfield stepping)

3)         Upton upon Severn hanky dance


Offers please, to lead these in our workshop practice sessions!   Music to follow soon to all sides.

Anne Griffiths Fiery Peak Squire  

Proposed California Ngati Morris Tour

We have a date for the California Ale at Camp Bothin near Fairfax outside of San Fransisco, being organised by the Berkeley Morris. The dates are Thursday 4 to Sunday 7 April 2019. Registratio fees are likely to be around USD175 per person. Don't ask about kids yet, we'll find that out later.

This ale is an annual event and the organising side will give it a unique name/theme which we shall find out in due course.

My original proposal was to have a Ngati Morris side perform for the whole week up to and including this ale. But, there is an option to only perform at the ale.

The original proposal was to arrive in Los Angeles on say Friday 29 March and spend the weekend dancing in and around that area with the local LA based Morris sides. They expect to be able to find most billets for this part of the trip but that's not a promise. I would arrange with LA sides where we will dance, with whom and when and only make firm bookings say for transportation ie. 10 seater mini buses with limited luggage space so no room for big suitcases.

After that weekend we would take our hired mini buses and spend the next 4 days meandering up the Pacific highway, dancing where we felt like it, being tourists and staying in motels.

On April 4 we would arrive in San Fransisco and go to camp Bothin, dance for the weekend and the ale and then the Ngati Morris tour would be all over.

That's it in a nutshell; but things are changing all the time like the weather, roadslips blocking Highway 1 right now so, I want to keep plans reasonably flexible, push comes to shove we could scoot up to Berkeley in a day and find accommodation and possibly billets until the ale. . 

So, I'm offering TWO options and which ever gets most takers we'll run with.

As mentioned in the initial proposal this is primarily a Ngati Morris tour for morris dancers and musicians. If we don't have enough dancers and musicians to make up a side then I shalln't be organising anything with the California morris but that's not to stop individuals from making their own way to the ale. As always all morris from everywhere are most welcome. As usual participants will organise their own transport from NZ to the venues and we'll arrange a meeting place, date and time for which ever option is selected.

Option 1 - An eight(8) day tour starting in LA on 29 March then travelling up to Camp Bothin OR

Option 2 - A four(4) day tour basically in Berkeley and Camp Bothin starting on 3 or 4 April

To date I have received only two expressions of interest in option 1 (non in option 2) which is clearly insufficient, though I'll accept that communications have not been great and not having my email in Sphere didn't help much.

So, my email is

If you are interested in participating in either of the above options please email me asap with :

  • Your name and whether a dancer, a musician or both and which traditions you know

  • Number in your family/group intending to travel

  • which of the two options you prefer

The 30th of November is the deadline for you to let me know your decision.

We will work out the Ngati Morris dance repertiore through December and will practice and try to get some consistency in the dances in that repertoire at the 2019 NZ Tour. After that we'll just have to wing it like we normally do.

It would be great though if we could put on a decent show wouldn't it?. Hankies Gone Awry have always managed to put on a great show on NZ tours in spite of having members from allover the state. We can do this.

Cheers Bob Lawton

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